Lucy Peake, chief executive
Lucy joined Grandparents Plus as Chief Executive in September 2015. She managed its merger with The Grandparents’ Association, led a strategic review and organisational restructure, and an expansion of services and programmes for kinship carers. read Lucy’s full bio
Lucy joined Grandparents Plus as Chief Executive in September 2015. She managed its merger with The Grandparents’ Association, led a strategic review and organisational restructure, and an expansion of services and programmes for kinship carers. She is a member of the Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board and a frequent speaker. Her recent media experience includes BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC Five Live, BBC Victoria Derbyshire and BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour.
Previously she spent 11 years at The Fostering Network where she was Director of External Affairs and then Director of Development. Her highlights included involvement in the introduction of the Mockingbird programme, the development of London Fostering Achievement and the successful Staying Put campaign to enable young people in foster care to stay with their carers until 21.
Lucy has a PhD in Politics from Southampton University and has previously worked in research roles in universities and the voluntary sector. She has three young children.
Kate O’Brien, director of business development and programmes
“What I love about Grandparents Plus is the genuine feeling of making a difference to families who are often invisible, as well as working with a fantastic team” read Kate’s full bio
I’m Kate and I oversee our commissioning with local authorities and the design and delivery of all our programmes and services. I’ve worked in the charity sector for more than half my life (no guessing my age!) and feel very passionate about supporting vulnerable families to enable children to have the best chance in life. I worked at Save the Children for 11 years, mainly on child protection in humanitarian settings around the world, but then chose to focus on UK-based work once I had to focus on protecting my own children! Most recently I was Director of Programmes at Mentor UK, preventing youth drug and alcohol misuse.
What I love about Grandparents Plus is the genuine feeling of making a difference to families who are often invisible, as well as working with a fantastic team. It’s also a cause close to my heart as my mum was predominantly brought up in kinship care by her aunt and uncle.
I have a BSocSc from the University of Birmingham in International Studies with French, am a governor at a local primary school and a committee member of the City Women Network. I love languages, running and anything to do with Latin America, especially salsa!
Deborah Slaughter, head of marketing and engagement
“I’m very proud to be working alongside kinship families to help them raise their voices, to change how society recognises and values them and to ensure that support is available to them all.” read Deborah’s full bio
As Head of Marketing and Engagement at Grandparents Plus, I’m very proud to be working alongside kinship families to help them raise their voices to change how society recognises, values and supports them. Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked across health, housing, education, international development and social care sectors, using my marketing, communications and brand development skills to support and effect change for some of society’s most vulnerable people.
My passion for putting my marketing skills to use for good causes was sparked when working at Language Line Ltd where I connecting public services and charities with interpreting services so that they could offer better support to asylum seekers and other non-English speaking communities.
Working in marketing and events at the Housing Corporation, I developed campaigns bringing the social housing sector together to achieve cohesive communities and meet environmental standards by improving social-housing design.
At Breast Cancer Haven, I helped to grow and reposition the charity from a small locally based charity to a national breast-cancer-support charity, leading a team which developed campaigns on issues such as secondary and untreatable cancer, male breast cancer, and loneliness.
Then, as Head of Marketing and Communications at Education and Employers, our mission was to improve social mobility and gender equality by bringing together school children in deprived areas and successful, inspirational figures from across industry to inspire them.
As Brand Manager at Plan International UK, I led a team promoting the ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign which supports local youth advocates across the globe on campaigns to stop trafficking, sexual exploitation in the workplace, period poverty and street harassment.
Now, as Head of Marketing and Engagement at Grandparents Plus, I’m very proud to be working alongside kinship families to help them raise their voices, to change how society recognises and values them and to ensure that support is available to them all.
Louise Baker, head of finance and operations
“I am passionate about Grandparents Plus and the work that we do to highlight the wonderful kinship carers who step in to care for children when they cannot live with their parents.” read Louise’s full bio
Hi I’m Louise. I joined Grandparents Plus after the merger with Grandparents’ Association where she had worked for 10 years. Since joining the team almost 5 years ago I have moved on to the role of Head of Finance and Operations. I’m responsible for maintaining and strengthening an effective organisational development of IT and systems, HR and overseeing the financial management and supporting Governance.
I have a broad experience of over 20 years within sales, administration, customer service and finance roles in varying industries.
After many years of working in the private sector, I have found my home in the charity sector. It means so much to know that I am part of a team that supports such an amazing cause. I am passionate about Grandparents Plus and the work that we do to highlight the wonderful kinship carers who step in to care for children when they cannot live with their parents.
I am married with three children whose grandparents played a large and active role in their lives growing up. I love gardening, reading, our pets and the outdoors. Most of all I enjoy spending time with my family and extended family.
Paul McGrath, policy and practice advisor
“I’ve worked with Grandparents Plus since March 2019. I’ve been the policy and practice advisor for Grandparents Plus since August 2020 and before that I was a social work consultant.” read Paul’s full bio
I’ve worked with Grandparents Plus since March 2019. I’ve been the policy and practice advisor for Grandparents Plus since August 2020 and before that I was a social work consultant.
I have been a post-graduate researcher in the School of Social Work at the University of East Anglia (UEA) since 2017. My research interest is kinship care with a focus on special guardianships. I’m currently undertaking a qualitative Ph.D. research project exploring grandparents’ experiences of being a special guardian. I have disseminated my findings both nationally and internationally and have won an award for using my research to engage with the government, professionals, and special guardians.
I worked as a part-time lecturer at the School of Social Work at the UEA between 2019-2020 and continue to lecture there as an associate tutor. I am an associate fellow with the Higher Education Academy.
I worked as a social worker and then senior social worker in the child protection team from 2011 until 2015. I became the manager of the family intervention team in 2015 where I worked until 2017.
I graduated with a first-class BA (hons) degree in social work in 2011 from the UEA. I also received a master’s degree with distinction in advanced social work from the UEA in 2016.
I’m registered as a social worker with Social Work England, registration number, SW30809 and continue to practice as a relief social worker and manager in an emergency duty team.